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Thandie tells of casting couch horror

International

London - Thandie Newton was abused on a casting couch when she was a teenager.

The 40-year-old actress says she is still scarred by the "horrific" incident which involved an unnamed male director when she was just 18 and trying to get her big break.

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Thandie Newton. Photo: REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

She said: "It was a screen test. There were two other people in the room - the director and the casting director, who was a woman.

"The director asked me to sit with my legs apart - the camera was positioned where it could see up my skirt - to put my leg over the arm of the chair. Before I started my dialogue, [I was told to] think about the character I was supposed to be having the dialogue with and how it felt to be made love to by this person.

"I was thinking, 'This is so strange, why would I need to do that?' But this is the director, there is the casting director, [it] must be normal. I'm 18 years old, you know, and I'm thinking this is, obviously... I was in a protected... there were boundaries."

Three years later, she discovered the video was being shown by the director - who she refuses to name - to other showbusiness figures.

Thandie - who now has two children with husband Oliver Parker - told CNN International journalist Max Foster: "It turned out the director used to show that video late at night to interested parties at his house - a video of me touching myself with a camera up my skirt."

Thandie chose to speak out about her abuse as part of an international campaign to end violence against women, One Billion Rising. - Bang Showbiz

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